Friday, June 02, 2006

no more vision statements please

I came across a passage in Leonard Sweet's book, Summoned to Lead, that explains exactly how I have felt whenever I have received a top-down vision statement.
"In one sense, the last thing the church needs is 'more vision.' When Christians sing 'Be Thou My Vision' we are testifying to the fact that we have all the vision we need in Jesus... The definition of leadership as 'vision' trips a variety of cliches. Leadership as 'vision' has become another way of talking about exercising dominance and pushing other people around with your ideas... Vision has become another was of declaring dominance, of achieving alpha status and stats." (pp.14-17)
One of my pet peeves is when I hear people quote Proverbs 29:18 ("Where there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint, but happy are those who keep the law.") as if it is talking about "vision" in the way corporate America uses the word. If it really means that, why do we have to go back to the King James Version of the Bible to find the word "vision" in the place of "prophecy" or "revelation"?

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